Google may be planning a store in New York's SoHo neighborhood

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Credit: Google

Google is planning to open a store in SoHo after all.

Three years after attempting to dispose of space it had leased on Greene Street, the tech giant appears to be arranging instead to open an outpost at the location, Crain's New York Business reports.

The 5,442-square-foot space could be Google's first long-term retail location in the city. It has opened only pop-up stores here, including during the holiday season at 110 Fifth Ave. in the Flatiron District.

Google leased the location at 131 Greene St. in 2014 but never opened a store there and a year later put the unoccupied space up for sublease. The $800 billion company has not filled the space with a subtenant, however. Earlier this year it passed on an opportunity to exercise a termination right. With that decision, Google is now on the hook for the still-vacant location until 2024.

Google pays about $2 million a year in rent, well above what the space is likely worth in the current market, as growing e-commerce sales and shifting consumer habits have pushed down the value of brick-and-mortar retail locations.

Holding on to the space suggests the company now plans to open a long-term store, sources said. The tech giant's biggest rivals, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple, have a retail presence that has become hard for Google to ignore, especially as the company has focused more on consumer hardware, such as its Pixel line of smartphones and computers.

A spokeswoman for Google declined to comment on the potential store.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is exploring a large flagship retail location close by, at 300 Lafayette St. in SoHo.

Daniel Geiger is a writer for Crain's New York Business

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